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  India   All India  01 Jul 2019  Bihar polls: Both JD-U, BJP eye ‘big brother’ tag

Bihar polls: Both JD-U, BJP eye ‘big brother’ tag

Published : Jul 1, 2019, 1:46 am IST
Updated : Jul 1, 2019, 6:40 am IST

The seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha polls had literally soured ties between the two till the BJP high command intervened.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: Twitter | ANI)
 Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (Photo: Twitter | ANI)

New Delhi: Competing ambitions of both ruling partners in Bihar — JD(U) and BJP — seem to be fuelling distrust between the two allies ahead of the Assembly polls next year in which both want to play the “big brother” role.

Though both the parties have been claiming that “all is well” between them, both NDA allies are keeping a watchful eye on developments taking place in each other’s camp. Despite the central leadership of both JD(U) and BJP rejecting reports of growing rift, the JD(U), it was learnt, is wary of BJP’s “aggressive expansion mode” since 2014 while the latter has taken “very seriously” JD(U) supremo and chief minister Nitish Kumar’s recent statement that the NDA alliance is limited only in the state.

For the Assembly polls, scheduled by the end of next year, election strategies of both parties, it was learnt, will be focused on acquiring the “big brother” status. While the JD(U) wants to retain the tag, the saffron party cadre want to play this role in the Assembly polls.

The JD(U), sources said, is in no mood to give the BJP any chance to replicate its Maharashtra model, where the Shiv Sena had to cede the “big brother” title after the last state assembly polls.

There is also a buzz that the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government could advance the Assembly polls, a move that might surprise rivals. Interestingly, the majority view among the cadre of both the parties is that the current political situation holds the “best opportunity” for them to “expand” their political bases, especially after the Lok Sabha poll verdict in which the NDA won 39 out of the 40 seats.

Both the JD(U) and the BJP had fought on equal number of parliamentary seats and the latter had won all 17 seats while the JD(U) bagged 16 berths. The other NDA constituent Lok Jan Shakti Party won six seaths.

While the BJP claimed that the “NaMo” factor helped the JD(U), the latter reminded the saffron ally that the same factor had failed in 2015 Assembly polls in the state when the two had contested from separate camps.

The seat-sharing formula for the Lok Sabha polls had literally soured ties between the two till the BJP high command intervened.

The JD(U)’s recent decision to stay out of the Narendra Modi government was seen by many as Mr Kumar’s firm stand against the “symbolic representation” in the Modi government 2.0. The JD(U) supremo’s decision, sources said, charged the party cadre and the announcement that the party will not be part of the NDA outside Bihar has given enough indications that the Nitish Kumar-led party has decided against limiting itself to Bihar only. The JD(U) has decided to contest alone in Jharkhand and Haryana where polls are scheduled by the end of this year and the BJP wants to retain the government in both states.

Tags: nitish kumar, bihar polls
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi